FIVE former South Cumbria residential school teachers and staff members who deny allegations of physical abuse and cruelty made by ex-pupils have gone on trial.
It is alleged the five men – whose combined ages total 349 – committed criminal acts against four different males who attended Witherslack Hall, Grange-over-Sands, during the 1970s and 1980s.
Opening the case to a jury at Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Keith Sutton said: “It involves allegations of assaults and child cruelty upon some of the pupils at the school, and that was carried out, the prosecution say, by those who were responsible for their education and care of those pupils.”
Those young people, said Mr Sutton, were placed at Witherslack Hall by their local authorities having been deemed “for a variety of reasons” they were unsuitable for mainstream education.
Roger Whitehouse, 78, of Seaview, Haverigg, denies two alleged actual bodily harm assaults and two charges alleging child cruelty.
Three other men each deny one charge alleging single actual bodily harm assaults on different pupils.
They are Andrew Elliot, 68, of Main Street, Greatford, Stamford, Lincolnshire; Michael Lynch, 72, of Kirkhead Road, Grange-over-Sands; and Glyn Waterhouse, 62, of Stainton, near Kendal. A fifth man, 69-year-old Alec Greening, of Dalton, near Burton-in-Kendal, denies one charge alleging child cruelty.
The jury has heard all five defendants denied the allegations made against them when interviewed by police. Whitehouse was said to have stated his belief, Mr Sutton told jurors, that those making allegations “have got together and conspired against him”.
The trial, which is estimated to last up to five weeks, continues.
Members of the public are reminded not to post comments on social media that may prejudice the trial.